The friend that taught me to make kombucha stressed that her way, which she got from someone else, was the only healthy way. I am so glad that I have since found other folks who brew kombucha with great success, and in a variety of fashion. Read on for a great read on the continuous brew method of making kombucha. It will definitely open your eyes.
Flexibility, convenience, and ancient practice are just a few of the reasons to change your kombucha brewing system to the continuous brew method. If you need a little convincing to make the switch, consider these advantages to continuous brew kombucha.
10 Reasons to Make Continuous Brew Kombucha
1. Continuous brew kombucha is the most versatile method.
Continuous brew kombucha (CB) will fit into your lifestyle. If you are on vacation, you don’t have to worry about exploding bottles or dead scobies greeting you when you get home. Simply fill the continuous brew vessel with fresh sweetened tea when you get home and begin the brewing process again, right where you left off. If the vinegary kombucha is too strong for your taste you can draw some off for kombucha mustard or salad dressing, and reset the batch with fresh tea. The new batch might be ready in as little as 48 hours.
2. Continuous brew is the most ancient method of kombucha brewing.
Before there were glass bottles with twist caps there was continuous brew kombucha. Kombucha was originally brewed in the orient in clay vessels like water jars. The beverage was dipped out and new tea was added to keep the kombucha going. This was kombucha’s ancient roots.
3. Continuous brew speeds up the fermentation process.
While regular brew kombucha takes a week or two to mature into a tasty, healthy beverage, continuous brew is ready in as little as two to four days.
4. Continuous brew protects the integrity of the scoby, preventing contamination.
Since, with continuous brew, the scoby is not handled at all during kombucha brewing, there is little chance for contamination of your ferment. The acidity of the batch remains high even when fresh tea is added, inhibiting bacterial contamination.
5. Continuous brew is less work than making a fresh jar of kombucha.
After your initial starting batch, your continuous brew kombucha only requires the addition of fresh, sweet tea to keep it going perpetually. There is no need to sterilize Mason jars or to move scobies from one jar to another. The continuous brew container only needs cleaning periodically—when the spigot is clogged or when the scoby becomes too thick and needs trimmed.
6. Continuous brew offers the healthiest kombucha beverage.
There are more healthy, probiotic bacteria and healthy acids in continuous brew than there are in regular kombucha. Each batch has a combination of older bacteria and newer bacteria which produces a heathier, more diverse beverage.
7. Continuous brew offers a less expensive kombucha than buying bottled.
Here in Canada kombucha sells at the grocery store for anywhere from $3.50-5 for a 12-ounce bottle. A full gallon of kombucha can be made for the cost of a cup of sugar and a tablespoon of loose tea, with a savings of more than $30 per batch.
8. Continuous brew contains higher levels of healthful acids like gluconic acid and glucuronic acid.
Since continuous brew always retains a third to half of the older, more acidic kombucha in the container, when fresh tea is added there are high amounts of gluconic and glucuronic acids in every cup. These are the acids that support your liver and kidneys and protect them from damage by toxins.
9. Continuous brew is flexible and will fit into your schedule.
With continuous brew you can add sweet tea on your own schedule—whether that’s daily, weekly, monthly, or whenever you remember. The continuous brew system acts like a scoby hotel, preserving your kombucha scoby and holding mature kombucha in reserve until you are ready to use it. Once fresh tea is added, the continuous brew system changes from a holding vessel to an active probiotic colony ready to nourish and restore your body while it quenches your thirst.
10. Continuous brew is the perpetual kombucha system.
The continuous brew system lets you have kombucha at the ready whenever you need it. You can drink it right from the spigot or place the kombucha in bottles to add additional flavors and fizziness, for a second fermentation. You can drink it immediately after adding sweet tea or wait for the batch to produce just the right amount of tartness for your taste.
If it gets too vinegary for your taste, just draw off half to two thirds of the kombucha in the vessel. Replace this with fresh, sweet tea. Use the tart kombucha as vinegar in salad dressings, oxymels, herbal infusions, and even hair rinses—any place you would use cider vinegar.
Continuous brew kombucha is a flexible way to enjoy kombucha as a regular component of your healthy lifestyle. It saves you both time and money while allowing you to choose your own rhythm in kombucha brewing. Get your one or two gallon vessel and give continuous brew kombucha a try.
Chris is a teacher, author, gardener, and herbalist with 30+ years’ of growing herbs and formulating herbal remedies, skin care products, soaps, and candles. She teaches workshops and writes extensively about gardening, crafts, scratch cooking, fermentation, medicinal herbs, and traditional skills on her blog at JoybileeFarm.com. Chris is the author of the The Beginner’s Book of Essential Oils, Learning to Use Your First 10 Essential Oils with Confidence and Homegrown Healing, from Seed to Apothecary. Her newest book is “The Beeswax Workshop, How to Make Your Own Natural Candles, Cosmetics, Cleaners, Soaps, Healing Balms and More” with Ulysses Press (2017). Chris is a contributing writer to The Biblical Herbal Magazine, The Fermentools Blog, and the Attainable Sustainable blog. Her books are available on Amazon. Chris lives with her husband Robin in the mountains of British Columbia on a 140 acre ranch where they raise lamb. They have 3 adult children and 3 grand daughters.